Following my brief hiatus from these pages and the world being denied of my thoughts, upon which so much depends, I thought it only fair to share my pearls of wisdom with you this week when I could be treated with more seriousness following the removal of that hideous moustache from my picture in the last issue!

 

Again, many stories have been flying around the sporting world of late, the most shocking of which being the tragic death of Gary Speed. He was a much loved and highly respected player, manager and football pundit who has most certainly left his mark on the game which he loved. As much as it pains me to admit, the article by Mr Rutherford (see below) is a must read to see just how much his passing meant to at least one adoring fan.

 

You may also remember in my last Foulds’ thoughts I, with assured confidence, told you of Shaun Edwards “looking forward to new challenges within Rugby” which I again assured you meant he was nailed on to be the next England Rugby coach, well… I was wrong, truly and utterly incorrect in so much as his name barely got a mention. Oh well, on to the next one! So I can now tell you with absolute certainty that Martin O’Neil will be the successor to Steve Bruce at Sunderland. The man is without doubt one of the best coaches in the game and this could be a great way for him to get back involved within English football. Added to that, the foundation is already there at Sunderland to allow him to impart his own personality onto an already capable squad and take them to that next level, as he so successfully managed to do at Villa.

 

Back to the England Rugby scene again, and how about the ‘leak’ of the RFU’s investigation into what went wrong at the World Cup? It certainly raises a lot of questions about the attitudes of some senior players at the World Cup. I think this certainly exposed the amateur strain that is still very much prevalent within Rugby, which in relative terms is still very young as a professional sport. That players representing their country are so money motivated – it is claimed that one of the senior players bemoaned the loss of £30,000 having just lost in the quarter final – presents a sad image for young aspiring players to look up to. Playing for your country is a bout pride and honour, ok I understand that money is what makes the world go round, but I think it being at the forefront of their thoughts whilst on the rugby field can only ever be detrimental to their performance. With Christmas now looming, for me it means an extravaganza of festive sport, endless football but most importantly for everyone the Darts World championship, which I again can tell you Phil Taylor will win (his previous 15 world titles aiding my crystal ball somewhat!). So I wish you all the merriest of Christmases and look forward to seeing you all that little bit plumper next term!

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